Arsenal bounced back from their recent dip in form with a resounding 3-1 victory over Chelsea on Tuesday, thanks to a brace from Martin Odegaard.
The Gunners stormed into a three-goal lead before half-time, with Gabriel Jesus also finding the net. While Noni Madueke scored a consolation for Chelsea in the second half, the visitors’ lacklustre display did nothing to dispel the growing feeling that they have had a dismal season.
After losing to Manchester City last week, Arsenal’s title hopes looked all but over, but the victory sees them return to the top of the Premier League, two points clear of Pep Guardiola’s men. While City remain favourites to win the title, Arsenal’s win has applied some pressure on the champions. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was pleased with his side’s performance and said they “wanted to earn the right to be top of the league.”
Chelsea, meanwhile, have now lost all six games since Frank Lampard returned as caretaker boss to replace the sacked Graham Potter. They are languishing in 12th place and on an nine-game winless run in all competitions. Lampard admitted that his team were “too nice to play against” in the first half and were “not good enough.”
Former Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made his first Chelsea start since the Blues lost 1-0 to the Gunners in November. But the Gabonese striker was hauled off at half-time as Arsenal dominated proceedings. Odegaard gave the hosts the lead in the 18th minute with a superb curling finish, before adding a second 13 minutes later. Jesus then scored Arsenal’s third just three minutes after that.
The win was a much-needed boost for Arsenal, who had drawn their last three games and lost to Manchester City the previous week. They face a tricky trip to Newcastle on Sunday, while Chelsea will look to end their winless run when they host Aston Villa.